Kari Lilt

Kari Lilt - Survival
Kari Lilt - The Return

What is your background? 
I studied philosophy and psychology at university. After I graduated, I studied floristry for a year to become a florist. I hated it at first because I was shit at it, but I persisted, got heaps better, and now I can honestly say I love it. I create art with flowers by day and create art with paint at night. I love it because it’s not easy, especially at my particular florist, because we do everything from corporate jobs, hotels, weddings, etc. it’s extremely hard work. Advice for anyone wanting to become a florist: don’t. Especially if you are dainty or sensitive. You will be crushed. 

It is my great dream to one day pour all my energy into art – watercolours and oil paintings. I want to learn everything there is to know. 

What does your work aim to say?
I want my art to push the boundaries of reality: to sit on the cusp between what’s real and what can be real. Is there another possible world where weird shit happens all the time? What would that look like? 

Humans have a natural aversion to weird things – it’s an evolutionary survival mechanism. Weird things discomfort us. I want to explore pictures that feel discomforting and familiar at the same time. Those are the two elements of a revolution. 

I get comments on my art, some say it’s beautiful, some say it’s disgusting. That’s when I know I’m doing a good job. 

Although not popular, I believe in a type of solipsism – we create our own reality via perception. There is no hard external reality – there is only a multitude of perspectives. It makes total sense to me. Just like colour is not an intrinsic property of any object, rather than a perception borne out of lightwaves hitting sensory receptors in the eye, so goes for the rest of all our subjective experience. FOR REALITY TO EXIST IT MUST BE SUBJECTIVELY PERCEIVED. As for the existence of “external objects”, there is no way we can prove that. We must remain agnostics about it while superficially believing in a potential illusion.

Kari Lilt - Porcelain
Kari Lilt - Aura

I don’t fully understand it yet. I just know the current paradigm is not working. There are a lot of things that cannot be explained by our current understanding of the world, like consciousness. 
This philosophy influences my art profoundly. Surrealist art is amazing because it captures in one clean snapshot, a single potential reality, untainted by outside influences. I am painting my own reality into existence. I feel like a God. 

What are the obstacles that female artists still encounter today in regard to their art, or the fact it’s made by women? 
I can only speak for myself. I have never felt disadvantaged due to my sex or race. That’s not to say I haven’t ever experienced racism or sexism – sure, I have – but it doesn’t bother me. If someone dismisses me superficially then that’s their problem, not mine. I don’t care if you burn my art, I’ll just paint more.

If there are women out there that feel like their sex stands in the way of their artistic pursuits, all I have to say is… you can literally do anything and be anyone you want. Just stay authentic. If everyone around you is unfair, remain fair. The world is chaos and neurotic. You don’t have to succumb to that if you don’t want to. 

Times are changing. There are great women in art, Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama. I admire them all. I don’t think these struggles will even be apparent to the next generation. And instead of antagonism, both “sides” can benefit from a little bit of compassion. 

Kari Lilt - the Simulation Keeps Glitching

How do you are perceived in the art scene? 
At the risk of sounding blasé, I don’t mind how I am perceived in the art scene, as long as people are intrigued by my work. I am just extremely happy to be able to share my ideas. 

The “art scene” is changing too, it used to be the domain of exclusive museum curators, collectors, and established artists. Now anyone can share their artwork with the world on the internet. That excites me endlessly. Kill the gatekeepers!

I want to be a great storyteller. That’s my dream. 


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